Larry B. Mauksch, MEd
To the Editor: In their recent article, Hahn, Feiner, and Bellin (1) note accurately that patients will attempt to engage physicians in relationships to compensate for deficits in their families. Physicians are drawn into these "dysfunctional compensatory alliances" and inadvertently function with the patient and the patient's family to maintain family dynamics. Eventually physicians involved in these situations may feel anger, frustration, and impotence as the patient's symptoms remain the same. But is it only the patient and his or her family who pursue these dysfunctional alliances? Are physician's feelings always the result of interacting with dysfunctional patient-family systems? What
Mauksch LB. The Physician and the Family. Ann Intern Med. ;110:848–849. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-110-10-848_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(10):848-849.
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